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By JoAnna Ness, Jun 1 2020 04:21PM

This note was included in our May e-newsletter, which can be found here:

I hope this newsletter finds you well as we all adjust to a new world. When the scope of this global pandemic became apparent in mid-March, the Steuben County Community Foundation board of directors made some quick and important decisions. Emergency bylaws were drafted and approved allowing the board to efficiently conduct business. The SCCF staff was uprooted nearly overnight and now are working from multiple corners of the community. We have transitioned all of our work to a (temporarily) remote operation and will continue as long as necessary. This means that scholarships are being processed, grants are being paid, and we're hard at work to connect generous donors with important community needs. We look forward to seeing donors and guests at the SCCF office once we reopen in Stage 4 of Governor Holcomb's Back on Track Indiana plan, currently scheduled for June 15.

In March, we shared that the SCCF board activated the Steuben County Disaster Response Fund to support Steuben County nonprofits navigating and responding to the impacts of COVID-19 in our community. Since then, SCCF has provided a grant of $50,000 from this fund to support Cameron Memorial Community Hospital. FIST members directed 15 small grants to local nonprofits for operating relief. Generous donor advised fund holders awarded proactive grants to a few of the nonprofits who were among the hardest hit by COVID-19. Since the fund was established in March, community members have contributed more than $87,000 to this fund, and a grant from Indiana United Ways and Lilly Endowment Inc. provides a total of more than $325,000 in the Disaster Response Fund. SCCF is partnering with the Steuben County United Way to deploy grants efficiently and effectively. There is more work to be done, but we have a good baseline started thanks to our generous donors, volunteers, and board members.

Our hearts go out to all who have suffered as a result of the pandemic. We thank you for your understanding of the current situation, and your continued belief in the power of giving where you’re living. Please feel free to call or email me with any questions you may have.

Jennifer Danic

SCCF President and CEO


[email protected]

By JoAnna Ness, Mar 19 2020 06:14PM

The Steuben County Community Foundation Board of Directors has designated $100,000 to activate the Steuben County Disaster Response Fund to begin addressing the rapidly developing situation in our community as a result of COVID-19. This nonpermanent fund will be used to mobilize grant dollars for community organizations affected by the virus, and SCCF is actively listening to local entities to understand current needs.

The Board approved an initial grant from this fund for $50,000 to Cameron Memorial Community Hospital as Cameron has taken the lead in addressing the immediate health challenges in Steuben County posed by this crisis. The board is regularly reassessing the changing community needs, and future grants will be deployed from this fund.

Community donors are encouraged to assist in this effort to support local nonprofits by donating to the Steuben County Disaster Response Fund. SCCF is open to collaborating with other funders and learning more about ways to make resources available to community needs. Contact the SCCF office at 260-665-6656, or email SCCF President and CEO Jennifer Danic at [email protected] with questions.

Donations to the Steuben County Disaster Response Fund can be made online here, or you can mail a check to our office at 1701 N Wayne St, Angola, IN 46703.

By JoAnna Ness, Feb 24 2020 04:44PM

Cameron Memorial Community Hospital has been a staple nonprofit organization in Steuben County for almost 100 years. The Cameron Foundation was established to support the mission of the hospital and to provide resources that improve the community overall. The foundation’s mission is to, “Improve the quality of life for those we serve through relationships focused on health and wellness.” The Cameron Foundation makes an impact by focusing on areas that directly affect health and wellness needs in Steuben County. Some of these needs include state-of-the-art training and resources, expansion of hospital programs, services and community education, and continued advances in meeting the medical needs of the community. Krista Miller, Executive Director at the Cameron Foundation, attributes the ability to provide resources to the community to their excellent leadership and staff.

By JoAnna Ness, Feb 5 2020 07:34PM

Steuben County Community Foundation’s youth philanthropy group, FIST, wrapped up their January 2020 meeting to the sound of cheers from the 5th grade students who were learning about philanthropy. FIST (Forever Improving Steuben County Together) is a group of 8th-12th grade students from Hamilton, Angola, and Fremont schools. They meet monthly to organize service projects and provide grant funding to inspire the youth of Steuben County to give their time, talent, and treasure back to the community.

This year, FIST has focused on a new initiative to teach younger students throughout the county about philanthropy—with grant dollars attached to the learning process. From September through January, FIST taught 5th grade students at the six schools in Fremont, Angola, and Hamilton about nonprofits and talked about ways they could help their community. This was part of a program they call FLIP, which stands for Future Leaders in Philanthropy. FIST members led the younger students through a discussion about local nonprofits, and then provided a $250 grant that the students could direct to a nonprofit of their choice. Students also brainstormed ways they could make a difference without grant money, such as shoveling sidewalks in winter and helping a neighbor take out the trash. In return for their hard work to understand philanthropy, each school’s 5th grade class received a $250 grant to use for field trips, projects, or other needs. In total, FIST was able to share the fundamentals of philanthropy with almost 240 5th grade students in Steuben County.

By JoAnna Ness, Jan 15 2020 09:09PM

Change is coming to Steuben County Community Foundation grant guidelines, with the goal of helping local nonprofits continue to dream big. These changes were motivated by the results of facilitated discussions with the local nonprofit community. The SCCF board looked at national and regional community foundations to review their processes for grantmaking and identify updates that would resonate with the needs of Steuben County nonprofits.

After a year of strategic planning, the SCCF board of directors voted to approve the new guidelines, which will apply to all grantmaking at SCCF as of July 1, 2020. In addition to more detailed guidance on eligibility, a key change in the new guidelines is the addition of a new cycle called Impact Grants, which will offer multi-year support and larger investments in programs that are innovative, collaborative, and sustainable.

To prepare nonprofits for these changes, SCCF’s Spring 2020 Nonprofit Capacity Building series is focused on workshops that will improve their applications. Nonprofits who wish to apply for an Impact Grant must send a representative of their organization to at least two of the five workshops offered by SCCF from February through June. These guidelines will be presented along with special panelist discussions at SCCF’s first workshop of the series on February 12, 2020 from 11:30-1:30 at Club Z in Trine University’s MTI Center. Steuben County nonprofits are required to RSVP and lunch will be available. Additional workshop dates and RSVP links are available at

Grant guidelines can be downloaded on the SCCF website at